360° Coverage : What Are The Future Of Nation States? -- Better Ask Facebook

2 Updates

What Are The Future Of Nation States? -- Better Ask Facebook

May 9 2014, 2:06pm CDT | by

What happens when Facebook decides it wants to issue passports? This is no idle question. Right now, Facebook has well over a billion members, making it the third largest country in the world. So...

Filed under: news

 
 
 

23 weeks ago

What Are The Future Of Nation States? -- Better Ask Facebook

May 9 2014, 2:06pm CDT | by

What happens when Facebook decides it wants to issue passports?

This is no idle question. Right now, Facebook has well over a billion members, making it the third largest country in the world. So the larger issue at hand is does one’s online social identity trump one’s real world patriotic identity?

Perhaps not yet—but sooner or later it will.

If you plumb the literature, most researchers feel nation states exist for four major reasons: guns, money, land, and tribe. Let’s take a quick look at each.

Guns—this one’s obvious: Nation states control the armies, the weapons, etc. But not like they used to. We can now 3D print everything from handguns to automatic weapons to rocket launchers, with the blueprints and how-to tutorials available online, for anyone, for free. Of course, the standard counter here is what about WMDs—after all you can’t 3D print a nuke—but with the radical advances being made in synthetic biology, the ability for the average person to create a biological WMD are growing exponentially. So no, when it comes to who controls the weapons, well, nation states have lost their competitive edge.

Money—Nation states control currency, but maybe not for long. For one, bitcoin is trying to change all of that. Even if they don’t succeed, you got to believe that sooner or later someone will. Remember, the idea of a centralized, standardized currency is only a few centuries old and is much more a living experiment than a trustworthy tradition. In other words, when it comes to centralized currencies, we have no idea what they’re normal lifespan is… but considering that for almost 10,000 years local currencies were the rule, the idea that we may eventually re-fracture our financial system doesn’t seem so peculiar.

Land—This is the big one. But, again, not for long. In a recent blog, I probed the question of what happens when virtual reality becomes more fun and more meaningful than actual reality. This weird singularity is coming at us far faster than most expect and remember, it was Facebook who purchased Occulus Rift and is now leading this charge. In other words, however strong our online social identity feels today, they’re only going to continue to grow stronger. As this next century unfolds, as life moves more and more into the virtual, the value of “the land” and, more importantly, the way “the land” shapes our identity and allegiances will continue to shift.

Tribe—One only has to survey ethnic conflicts in Eastern Europe and the Middle East to realize that we’re still as tribal as we’ve ever been. And we have a great many nation states organized along exactly these kind of ethnic lines. And even more organized along religious lines. But the question remains, how long will this bounded sense of identity hold. Right now, Google and Facebook are in an arms race, with plans to spend billions to launch drones, balloons and satellites capable of providing free or ultra-low cost internet access to every human on Earth. This means, over the next few years, more and more people will be coming online and doing what people everywhere do online—finding groups of like-minded folk and hanging out with them. But these like minded folk will come from all over, breaching borders and building bridges and again, how long until these virtual tribes trump actual tribes?

So if the four pillars that have historically propped up nation states are starting to crumble, how much longer will the institution itself survive?

*Check out Steven’s latest book, The Rise of Superman.

 
Update
2

7 weeks ago

Khazanah throws MAS RM6b lifeline

Aug 29 2014 5:01pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 30, 2014 1:15 AMKHAZANAH Nasional will inject RM6 billion (SS$2.4 billion) over three years to resuscitate loss-making Malaysia Airlines (MAS) under a recovery plan that includes even an Act of Parliament. Other key moves are migrating its operations, assets and liabilities to a new company (NewCo) and slashing the workforce of 20,000 ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 
Update
1

8 weeks ago

MAS posts loss of RM307m for Q2

Aug 28 2014 5:00pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 29, 2014 1:13 AMMALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) registered a loss of RM307 million (S$122 million) for the second quarter to end-June, but warned of worse to come in the second half when the "full financial impact of the double tragedies of MH370 and MH17 ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

China launches test return orbiter for lunar mission
Beijing, Oct 24 (IANS) China launched an unmanned spacecraft early Friday to test technologies to be used in the Chang'e-5, a future probe that will conduct the country's first moon mission and return to the Earth.
 
 
Mali confirms first Ebola case
Bamako, Oct 24 (IANS) The first case of Ebola virus was reported in western Mali town of Kayes, the country's health ministry has said.
 
 
Unesco chief condemns murder of Paraguayan journalists
Paris, Oct 24 (IANS/EFE) Unesco Director-General Irina Bokova Friday condemned the murder of Paraguayan journalist Pablo Medina Velazquez and his assistant Antonia Maribel Almada Chamorro, who were shot dead Oct 16 near Curuguaty in southeastern Paraguay.
 
 
Kidney stones may increase bone fracture risk
Washington, Oct 24 (IANS) People, especially women, who develop kidney stones may be at increased risk of experiencing bone fractures, finds a research.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Second MERS case reported in Qatar
Doha, Oct 23 (IANS) A 43-year-old man in Qatar has tested positive for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in the second confirmed case of the deadly virus in 10 days, media reported Thursday. The patient had...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Two people die in Pakistan bomb blast
Islamabad, Oct 23 (IANS) At least two people were killed and 12 others injured in an explosion that took place in Pakistan's Balochistan province Thursday, media reported. The bomb was planted on a motorcycle, Dawn...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Trott extends contract with Warwickshire till 2017
London, Oct 23 (IANS) England batsman Jonathan Trott, whose mental issues led to his abrupt departure from last winter's Ashes tour, has confirmed his successful comeback to competitive cricket by signing a new three-...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Srikanth, Kashyap big movers in BWF rankings
Kuala Lumpur, Oct 23 (IANS) Indian men shuttlers Kidambi Srikanth and Parupalli Kashyap jumped seven places each in the latest Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings released Thursday while Olympic bronze medallist...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Alvin Stardust dead
London, Oct 23 (IANS) English singer Alvin Stardust died after a short illness. He was 72. Stardust's manager confirmed the news about his demise Thursday, reports mirror.co.uk. He was recently diagnosed with...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Indian man reunited with family after 40 years
Dubai, Oct 23 (IANS) An Indian man, who had disappeared from his hometown in Kerala nearly 40 years ago, has been found by his family at a hospital in Dubai in the UAE, a newspaper report said. Now in his 60s, Abdulla...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Srikanth, Kashyap, Saina rise in world rankings
Kala Lumpur, Oct 23 (IANS) Indian men shuttlers Kidambi Srikanth and Parupalli Kashyap jumped seven places each in the latest released Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings Thursday while Olympic bronze medallist...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Flintoff signs for Big Bash side Brisbane Heat
Brisbane, Oct 23 (IANS) Former England captain and all-rounder Andrew Flintoff, who retired from international cricket in 2009, Wednesday confirmed that he will play for Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash League (BBL) this...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
OPEC daily basket price falls again
Vienna, Oct 23 (IANS/WAM) The basket of 12 crude oils of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) closed at $81.94 a barrel Wednesday compared to $82.09 Tuesday, the OPEC Secretariat said. The new OPEC...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Lopez to sign multi-million dollar deal?
Los Angeles, Oct 23 (IANS) Singer-actress Jennifer Lopez is reportedly in the final stages of securing a multi-million dollar deal to perform in Las Vegas. The 45-year-old is being offered $350,000 per show at The...
Read more on Celebrity Balla